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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dangers Of Ice Shelf

Sauble Beach | by Claire McCormack  

South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson is warning people to stay off the ice shelf

South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson says if you go out onto the ice shelf at Sauble Beach you are seriously risking your life.

Jackson recently published a Facebook post warning people about the dangers of climbing on what appears to be piles of thickly frozen ice, but isn't.

She tells Bayshore Broadcasting News the ice is not thick all the way through. It's frozen spray and waves, and at times can be very thin.

She notes if a person falls through, it's very unlikely they will be rescued from the freezing water in time, "No one would ever hear you calling for help," she says noting the town has a volunteer fire department that has to be called to the station then jump in their trucks. She says there isn't likely enough time to save someone trapped under the ice in that cold water.

South Bruce Peninsula Fire Chief Dan Robinson says his department is only authorized to do land rescues and is neither trained nor equipped to do ice or water rescues.
He says they can call on the Coast Guard or neighbouring departments who do have the capability like Intertownship Fire or Saugeen Shores, but that would be a longer response time.

Robinson says it would likely turn into a "retrieval rather than a rescue."

Meanwhile, Mayor Jackson says "Once you're out in that water it's not even like you can get back to shore because the entire beach is covered in these ice shelves."

Replies to her Facebook post from the public recount stories of loved ones who have died falling through the ice and some of whom were not found until the spring.

Jackson says it's upsetting to see entire families climbing around on the ice shelf with apparently no knowledge of the danger they are in.

She says the town has ordered signs and hopes to put them up next week overtop of their multi-signs in key locations.

"They're going to have a big red 'DANGER' across the top and then it's going to have the illustration that's on my Facebook page that shows what happens when somebody goes through that ice and under the illustration it will say please stay off the ice," says Jackson.

You can find a link to Jackson's Facebook page here:

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